Can A Parasite Influence Us To Be More Enterprising?

Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that is transmitted especially by cats.

Some previous studies revealed that mice infected with this microorganism developed more reckless behavior, losing their innate fear of cats and even being attracted to the pheromones of cats.

For that reason, a team at the University of Colorado wanted to find out if the parasite could produce a similar effect in humans.

And what they discovered was the existence of a hypothetical link between this infection and taking risks in the economic field.

The students conducted their study with university students and professionals from the business world.

And what they observed was that the 1,500 students infected by Toxoplasma gondii were up to 1.4 times more likely to study in the world of economics and business than those who were not infected.

Likewise, the almost one thousand professionals who were also carriers were up to 1.7 times more likely to start their own business or business venture.

To complete the study, the results of the research were listed in 42 countries, finding that the latter were greater where the former were also higher.

Does this mean that the infection of a country can influence the economic development of a nation?

Of course, it is very risky to say yes, although the authors suggest that there is a link between both factors.

But we must bear in mind that this study is observational, and that it does not allow establishing a cause-effect relationship.

Therefore, the coincidence between the infection and the levels of entrepreneurship may be due to the influence of many other factors.

And the study itself only shows that cases of infection by this parasite are greater among students of economics and business, than among other groups (perhaps because they like cats more ,who knows).

The most interesting thing about this study is, therefore, that it suggests that the infection can cause changes in our brain, leading us to assume more risk behaviors.



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